Had my first pier crash


Unfortunately I woke up this morning with the bottom of my filter wheel firmly planted against the pier. At some point in the night my Mach1 ran the camera rig into the pier and “parked” although it parked right where it was at. I believe this was caused by a communication problem between the mount and my computer, but I would like to see if someone could look at the SGP log and see if you notice anything else. The problem appears to start around 2:37am.

Log File


I see lots of “Lost communications with mount” sometime after 2:30AM. It’s possible the mount kept on tracking until finally collided with the pier. I also see that it never performed Meridian Flip possibly due to mount stop communication with PC.

How are you communicating with CP4: Ethernet, WiFi or USB?



The CP4 is connected via USB to a Startech USB hub. I’m assuming there’s a
problem with either the cable or hub…I hope.


I don’t see anything that would indicate why the mount was lost at 2:23am. You should probably use @Andy s mount guard:


That said, if the mount severed all ASCOM communication, this probably would not help much.


Yeah Andy already pointed his mount watcher out. He also details an
arduino project that cuts power to the mount if communication is lost.
I’ll probably go that route. I think it was a fluke last night as
everything is running smooth right now. (Famous last words…)


That’s right, the current version of MountWatcher does not do anything with ASCOM driver errors other than display them. I’m going to update the app to stop feeding the hardware watchdog when the ASCOM driver is persistently failing. That way the mount power would be cut so the mount will be protected.



well, of course there’s always APCC. i had 2 pier crashes over the years that would have been prevented by APCC (had it existed). after the 3rd, i decided i’d better just invest in APCC. since then it has saved my bacon at least twice. to my great chagrin i had a 4th crash a couple of weeks ago, but this was because i had temporarily disabled the tracking limits, forgotten to re-enable them, and then SGP happened to crash that night. really, really bad luck.

i have taken to barely tightening my clutches so when the most recent crash happened, there was no real damage. but that very first time required me to send my RA gearbox back to AP, as the motor had burned up.